1,300 Chinese Kids Get Lead Poisoning

A Chinese state news agency says more than 1,300 children have been sickened by lead poisoning in Hunan province, the second such case involving a large of children in the last month.

The official Xinhua News Agency said Thursday that the children lived near a manganese processing plant in Wenping township in Hunan. It said 1,354 children were diagnosed as having excessive lead in their blood.

It said local authorities had shut down the smelter and detained two of its executives.

In Shaanxi province in northern China, at least 615 out of 731 children in two villages near the Dongling smelter in the town of Changqing have tested positive for lead poisoning, which can damage the nervous and reproductive systems and cause high blood pressure and memory loss.